This week kicks off yet another earnings season, this time for the fourth quarter of 2012. The best thing that will come from earnings is that expectations for 2013 and 2014 will start to take hold. We do expect that many companies will complain that the uncertainty around the fiscal cliff and tax rates acted as a drag from mid-November through the end of December. That being said, we also expect these companies to say that there is suddenly far less uncertainty now that a resolution has been made.
Key earnings reports this week will come from the following: Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA), Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON), Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ), Infosys Ltd. (NYSE: INFY) and Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC).
We have identified these reports by date and we have used the consensus earnings estimates from Thomson Reuters. Color has been added on each as well.
Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) was highlighted recently in our most undervalued and overvalued DJIA stocks for 2013. This is the one earnings report that Wall St. always tries to use as a barometer for each earnings season, as it is the first of the DJIA companies to report results. With the share price at $9.25, the 52-week range is $7.97 to $10.92 and the consensus price target is $10.41 ahead of earnings. The consensus estimates are $0.06 EPS, and sales are expected to be down more than 6% to $5.61 billion. We expect Alcoa to reiterate its long-term stance that the global aluminum market will be twice the current size in 2020. Earnings will be on Tuesday after the close of trading.
Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) trades around $96 now and shares are within 1% of the 52-week high of $96.71. The food and agriculture giant has managed to escape serious GMO fallout that was emerging in 2012. The company will report its results Tuesday morning. Estimates call for $0.37 EPS and $2.64 billion in sales in the fourth quarter. For the current quarter, those estimates are $2.60 EPS on $5.21 billion in sales. The past quarter is considered the throw-away quarter, but the current quarter is ahead of the key planting season for the northern hemisphere.
Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ) is reporting earnings on Wednesday, and estimates are $0.55 EPS and $751.8 million in revenue. At $36.75, the share price is within about 2% of its 52-week high of $37.57.
Infosys Ltd. (NYSE: INFY) reports on Thursday, and this will be the first of the IT-outsourcing operations to report earnings. Shares have been soft, and to show by how much, this ADR could rise almost 50% before it hit a 52-week high. The consensus estimates are $0.72 EPS and $1.85 billion in revenue. If the firm issues guidance, the consensus estimates for the quarter we are already in are $0.75 EPS and $1.9 billion in revenue.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is planning to be the first of the money-center banks to report earnings, with its fourth-quarter report coming Friday morning before the open. This one trades at a premium to its book value, and analysts are calling for $0.89 EPS on $21.29 billion in revenue. With shares around $35, the 52-week trading range is $28.77 to $36.60.